What we do?
Our mission is to advance molecular sciences by building high quality, open source software and sustainable communities for research software development. We believe that open source software and open science provide the best path to accelerated discoveries and innovation. However, openness and research software development come with their own challenges. It is our mission to make using and building open research infrastructure the best and easiest choice for every molecular scientist.
What we offer
We focus on working with hosted projects to support their software development and provide operational support, while also pursuing our own community-service and community-building projects to the extent that our funding allows.
We work with hosted projects to support their software development as they:
- Carry out full life cycle product development
- Convert concepts into mature and robust software
- Collaborate with academic and industry researchers
- Seek to fund targeted development, documentation, and quality assurance
- Develop professional user support and training
We provide operational support for Hosted Projects:
- Fast and responsive administrative and operational support
- Services to support software developers and users
- Fundraising assistance
- Project management support
- Assistance with the design and operations of project governance.
- Vetted agreement templates with industry funders
- International employment
In-house, we work to build community:
- Build a network of ideas, people and funding in open source communities
- Drive early adoption toward mainstream usage.
- Foster collaboration between projects with common interests
- Facilitate development of standards for interoperability
- Create new career roles and opportunities
- Explore funding options and business models
- Grow strategic partnerships and relationships
Visit our Services page for more information about how the OMSF can support you and your project.
How it works
The OMSF is a nonprofit organization currently seeking 501(c)(3) tax exempt status. The organization pursues its mission by focusing on two key areas:
1. Fiscal sponsorship
The OMSF seeks in large part to provide a home and base of operations for open source software projects through fiscal sponsorship. We recognize the need to simplify administration and project management for distributed teams and research software development. It is important to emphasize that each Hosted Project has its own governance structure and all important decisions are made accordingly, including how to spend funds. The role of the OMSF is to follow the instructions received from the governing body of the Hosted Project and in accordance with our mission and charitable purpose. Read more about our fiscal sponsorship services and how to become a Hosted Project.
2. Community oriented programs
This organization allows us to combine different funding sources – membership fees, grants, small donations and others – to support our employees and different programs ultimately directed at advancing molecular sciences through research software development and communities. We intend to actively apply for funding to support activities and create resources relevant to our Hosted Projects and wider community in molecular sciences.
The OMSF operates as a lean organization with the minimal number of employees to be effective, while keeping our costs down. We will regularly update our Documents page with all relevant organization documents and annual reports.
The OMSF Board of Directors
The main responsibilities of the Board include:
- Ensuring that all activities are aligned with the mission;
- Strategic planning and decision making in the best interest of OMSF and its associated stakeholders.
The organization members have voting rights to elect the Board of Directors, as described in our Bylaws. There can be a maximum of seven Directors serving on the Board – four “internal” Directors representing Hosted Projects and three “external” Directors with relevant experience and expertise to help to advance the best interests of the organization and all its members.
OMSF’s personnel runs the operations and implements strategy envisioned by the Board of Directors, and supports Hosted Projects.
Each Hosted Project is expected to have their own governance model, and their Governing Board is responsible for running the Hosted Project and communicating with OMSF. Supporting Members of Hosted Projects automatically become OMSF members and receive voting rights. In addition to Supporting Members and project staff, each Hosted Project may maintain a network of external collaborators and contributors.
What drives us
Offering the best support for every dollar of funding each of these projects receive.
Providing longevity and maintenance mechanisms for key software components in the field.
Building processes to identify and fill the infrastructure gaps between the open source projects in the ecosystem.
Offering new career opportunities to scientists working at the interface of software development and research.
Establishing collaboration between industry, academia and open source projects
Contributing to best practices in software development and application in molecular sciences.